ST. LOUIS – Friday, thousands of high school students and families filled downtown this weekend for the Bands of America super regional competition. There are 66 marching bands from across 14 states competing in the weekend-long event. 

“About four and a half, five hours all the way from the southwest corner of the state. A couple of stops on school buses for sure,” said Butch Owens, Webb City Director of Bands.

“We have groups of sometimes 200 and 300 and their entourage is up to 500 with their band parents that are all staying here in downtown St. Louis. They are filling the hotels, eating at the restaurants, and they are captive here because they’re going to be here at the show,” said Jeremy Earnhart, President of Bands of America. He said this weekend Bands of America is holding other competitions in New Jersey, Texas, and California. 

“But most importantly, right here in the heartland at the St. Louis Super Regional, where we have been running this event since 1997. I’ve been told that we are the longest-running event here at the Dome at America’s Center,” said Earnhart. 

For some high school bands, it was their first time at the competition. “All the work and the time they put in to have a capstone event such as this where they get to play for a crowd that knows what they’re listening for, knows what they’re wanting to see, and it’s just so cool,” said Owens.